USS Houston sunk, along with more than 700 souls, in Indonesia on February 28, 1942 during the Battle of Sunda Strait. In 2014, reports of unauthorized salvaging has reached the Navy but divers found no evidence of such operations after their survey.
Last week, EOD Mobile Diving and Salvage Team Seven divers on board USNS Safeguard conducted another survey to verify if the ship still remains untouched as part of history and heritage preservation. They were aided by their Indonesian counterparts in this operation that was completed on October 24, 2015.
USS Houston wreck site is a popular tourist destination for recreational divers. Although the wreckage is located in Banten, Indonesia, it is still a property of the United States under international maritime law.
The assessment showed that there are no signs of salvage events that transpired since their previous survey.
The divers are honored to be part of this heritage conservation efforts and to pay respect to the fallen sailors of the ship, they performed a wreath-laying ceremony.
Following the survey, a conference was held in Jakarta to raise awareness of the sovereign vessels protection.